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North-east and Yorkshire clean up from Growth Fund

Construction projects in the North-east and Yorkshire were among the big winners in the first round of the £450m Regional Growth Fund allocations this week.

In total, 50 projects were awarded £450m funding, which will be supplemented by private sector investment, following 464 applications worth £2.78bn.

Of the applications, 19 per cent were from the North-west, 16 per cent from the West Midlands and 15 per cent from the North-east.

A total of 14 projects will be awarded funding in the North-east, including funding for the development of a new conference facility with a 150-bed hotel and 2,000-seat theatre at Durham County Cricket Club.

There will also be funding allocated to the construction and development by A V Dawson of a rail freight terminal in Middlesbrough, while Lotte Chemical UK is expected to create 300 construction jobs with funding for its new polyethylene plant at its Wilton site on Teesside.

The Yorkshire and Humber region saw seven projects awarded funding, including the construction of 1,338 new and 137 refurbished homes over 13 years in Hull by Keepmoat Homes.

Keepmoat partnership director in Yorkshire David Carmichael said: “This is great news and we are delighted to have cleared the first hurdle. Over the next 8-12 weeks we will need to go through a process of due diligence in order to secure the grant.”

The funds will also be used to construct a link road between Doncaster and Robin Hood Airport, to facilitate infrastructure, housing, industrial and commercial development, which will start next year.

A total of nine projects will receive funding in the North-west, including the conversion of the former Royal Eye Hospital in Manchester into a 9,200 sq m ­biomedical centre.

A £15m improvement of the A45 to serve development sites including the Birmingham Airport railway/airport interchange, the NEC and several employment sites was one of seven projects to receive funding in the Midlands.

Molecular Profiles is also expected to undergo a £10m extension to its existing research and development facility in Nottingham.

A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokeswoman said full funding details were not being released as due diligence would take place over the coming months before they were finalised.

More than 400 applicants who were not successful in the first round are expected to be allowed to apply under the second round, worth £950m, which has now opened. It closes on 1 July.

Business secretary Vince Cable said: “We have received a large number of ambitious and highly competitive bids which will help a number of businesses across the country to expand and create thousands of new jobs.”


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